Two music suggestions are coming your way this week as not everyone will enjoy the jazz recommendation. Recently recommended to me was “The Complete Django Reinhard and Quintet of the Hot Club of France.” Classic Early Recordings is the closest I could come to the collection I was able to find at our local library. Check the reviews as much of Reinhard’s work is over sixty years old and the quality of the recordings is not up to 21st century standards. I’m a modest fan of some types of jazz. My music collection is 90% to 95% classical.
Switching to a much earlier period (late 1600s and early 1700s) we have Arcangelo Corelli’s 12 Concerti Grossi. As usual, I generally include one positive review from Amazon that parallels my take on the recording. Here is that recommendation. Somewhere within Corelli’s work is the theme or tune for the Hallelujah Chorus which Handel expanded upon and made famous. When I relocate that Corelli theme I will pass it along.
“Trevor Pinnock’s recording of Corelli’s Op. 6 Concerti grossi will not be to all tastes. Those raised on traditional instrument recordings by such as Max Goberman/Vienna Sinfonietta (Odyssey LPs, circulated in the 1970s) or Paul Angerer/Southwest German Chamber Orchestra (Vox) may not like the clipped articulation and fast tempos Pinnock uses. But the English Concert is a joy to hear: and can THEY PLAY! The allegros sizzle with joy and tension (in the minor key movements) and I find myself unable to resist conducting myself to the rhythmic patterns they generate. I think Corelli would be pleased, and I doubt he ever heard this good a performance of his Opus 6 Concertos.
Concerto 8, subtitled “Christmas” may be the most famous Op. 6 Concerto. Pinnock’s way with it may seem superficial, and tempos are faster than what I’m used to in this work. But I’m used to recordings of I Musici (Philips), Angerer (Vox), and Shepherd/Cantilena (Chandos). The closing “Pastorale” doesn’t seem to have enough time to breathe, but Pinnock is more sensitive to the Baroque performance practice principles where Siciliana and Pastorale movements are played more quickly than 20th century conductors led them, adhering to more Romanticized performance practice.
As a set, I give this high marks, and there is a lot of energy and joy without slighting Corelli’s music. The recorded sound is also very good, and the strings have a full, rich sound, even with no vibrato and period instruments.”
I just checked and I have the “Christmas” concertos rated five stars.